About Parking Charge Notices

Parking Charge Notices are issued by private car parking companies, if you have breached the terms and conditions of a private car park. They are different to parking tickets or Penalty Charge Notices which are issued by a local authority. The acronym is the same for both (PCN).

From 1 April 2024, all Council owned car parks in Northern Ireland will now be managed by a private parking operator instead of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI). The main change for consumers is that the parking enforcement officers will now wear blue uniforms, however, the responsibilities and legal authority that the attendants have will remain the same and any Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) issued will be valid and must be paid or appealed by following the instructions on the letter or notification received.

If you receive a Penalty Charge Notice, you can visit the NI Direct website for what to do next.

How to avoid getting a Parking Charge Notice

  • Read the signs – Be sure to look for signage which confirms the length of time you are allowed to park, and other terms and conditions.
  • Park correctly – Parking Charge Notices are not just for over-staying. You can be ticketed for parking over the white lines.
  • Show your permits – If you are a permit-holder, or blue badge carrier, ensure it is clearly visible.
  • Check your registration – Ensure you enter the correct car registration in Pay and Display machines. Failure to do so will lead to a Parking Charge Notice even if you have paid the correct amount.
  • Do not use blue badge or permit holder spaces – Unless you have the permits to do so, parking in spaces for blue badge or permit holders may result in clamping as well as a Penalty Charge Notice; and 
  • Always keep your ticket – Just in case you receive a parking charge notice.
  • If you work in a retail park – If you are employed by a retailer within a privately managed car park/site, you may be exempt from paying parking charges if there is a parking scheme in place. Speak to your employer for further advice and to provide your registration details.
Private Parking

Appealing a Private Car Parking Notice

Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to appeal a Parking Charge Notice and not have to pay it.